my odd and disjointed story of how I found this site, and where I hope to go from here

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So, at 25 years of age, I'm a part-time student and part-time computer programmer, currently living with his parents and older sister... in the basement, where you'd stereotypically expect me to be dwelling. This marks the tenth year of my addiction to the rancid sandwich of PMO.

I am intrigued by the idea that stopping this addiction for the long term would help me to be better able to connect with people and finally make a few real friends in this lifetime. I'm not saying this because I think it's an absolute roadblock but rather a further complication, but I am someone that has had trouble relating to others since I was born, well before I first laid eyes on a naked boob. Having Asperger's Syndrome, I've had nothing but problems in social situations. My absurd level of social anxiety, which I acknowledge as being far more curable than and not tied down to Hans Asperger's watered-down form of autism, grew out of failed childhood attempts at making friendly conversation with other kids. It's like I am mortally afraid of being rejected by every stranger I speak to, when I have no good reason to be. Doing simple things like greeting people or engaging in small talk, I think I'm going to sound like a total idiot or have my head bit off.

To this day, even though I've met a lot of people that liked me very much, thought I was funny and intelligent, and would probably never peg me as a porn user, or even as an aspie, my bonds with those people always grew weak or disappeared, because I still have no idea how to be a friend to somebody... I just don't know how to continue those relations. I have many regrets about this, because I've met some great people in my life that could have helped me cope with my addictions and used for career networking.

I found Reuniting as a result of my curiosity of how people really experience death, which led me on a long chain of visits to spiritual web sites. I was directed here by a site member of Mark Pritchard's "Gnostic Movement" cult (his username may have been Apakhana, don't really recall anymore), more than a year ago, and have been reading your posts ever since, but haven't spoken up until now. In my search, I discovered the concept of sexual energy, something that was completely foreign to me. I had no literally idea what I was doing to myself, and before then had bought into the belief that it was a good way to handle stress. When I fell ill with mono in my junior year of high school, I made absolutely no connection to my porn use ("kissing disease? can't be what I've got -- I haven't been kissing any girls!"). But that was only weeks after I had my first orgasm, that every morning before school I was half out of it.

I have two essential goals in my recovery from porn addiction:
- Ease up my social anxiety just enough that I can make and keep good friends
- Stop my addiction from leeching off my sexual energy and health any further, so I can fulfill my career goals, meet the expectations of the people who saw something special in me, and make a name for myself

I know that this is a community targeted toward healthy relationships between couples, but I'm not interested in a romantic relationship at this time. I am attracted to the opposite sex, but intellectually, I have several things against them that I feel I won't be able to get past until I have at least a few female friends. I know the saying that "the grass always greener on the other side", but female privilege kind of irritates me and I never want to end up p-whipped like my father. The girl I get along with the most is my older sister, but that's largely because she's into the same geeky things as me. My mother and my supervisor at work annoy the hell out of me, though -- I've always gotten along with both my father and my male coworkers far more often than with those two.

I just want to be happy, and don't believe being with a woman to be a prerequisite to that -- I just want real friends. Losing my virginity isn't important to me right now, though I hope no movie is ever made about me at age 90...

Anyway, on to the specifics of my addiction and recovery attempts.

I have gone for several months without having an orgasm. In spite of this, I've relapsed many times in my porn use... but never forcefully ejaculated. This has caused me to have wet dreams for the first time in my life, and end up suffering from spermatorrhea nearly every time I strain too hard on the toilet... even though I eat lots of raisin bran and salad, and shouldn't be straining in the first place. I've thought many times that there was no point in this since I continued to lose vital fluids no matter what I did. I haven't given up yet, though -- that's why I'm here.

I've found that what usually brings me back to porn (typically on image boards... I've never really been into "hardcore" porn, as I'm kind of homophobic and don't like seeing naked dudes) is a combination of stress and/or boredom, and incidental sexual stimulation from some other medium, like watching anime or listening to a particular talk show on the radio hosted by a guy who admits to and glorifies frequent porn use. The radio's easy to turn off and ignore while I'm driving, but I'm fairly attached to anime, which isn't all sexual (but almost all of what I watch is testosterone bait in some form).

Weekends are the worst time for me, urge-wise. Typically, I get through the week fine because I'm mostly busy with school or work, but come Saturday morning, it's hard to keep my mind off of porn unless I indulge in some other addiction, like watching TV, playing video games, or reading online news and tech blogs. My diet soda addiction isn't severe, but I am aware of aspartame's effects. I lost 40 pounds some time ago through mostly exercise and finally eating fruits and vegetables, but still occasionally binge-eat junk food. All these things are temporary distractions from porn fantasies, but also hold me down in the long term.

Sometimes, I do a breathing exercise called "Ham-sah", in which you try to visualize your sexual energy coming up as light into your brain, and then toward your heart as you exhale. It works wonders for me sometimes, but not always. I'm guessing my mostly half-hearted attempts are partly to blame. Being intellectually centered, I often don't put into practice what I read about online and become fascinated with.

Something else I've struggled with is finding outside activities to engage in and meet people at. I used to volunteer for a youth group at a church while in high school, but eventually my distaste for organized religion was overpowering. Surely, there must be something else for me besides that.

lonely living

[quote]I just want to be happy, and don't believe being with a woman to be a prerequisite to that -- I just want real friends[/quote]

I want that for you, too, man. From age 15-22 I felt a lot of similar things, albeit for reasons which might be the same or different. Who knows?
The only wisdom I can really share is that to change the kinds of relationships you have (platonic or romantic), you may have to welcome the idea that things that you believe are true may not be so.

Certainly, many things you believe to be true will remain that way. Just keep asking yourself, "What might I be missing? What am I not seeing?" can help move things along!

I hope you learn the magic of emotional connection with men, women, friends, lovers, whatever!

J

Thanks for sharing

your story...so far. I was thinking you'd put it on your blog: http://www.reuniting.info/blog/5157, but it doesn't really matter. Just letting you know about that option in case you didn't realize.

The desire to make solid friendships is a great goal. Have you checked out some of the ideas at the bottom of this page? http://yourbrainonporn.com/tools-for-change Check out "Solo tools" and "Tools for connecting with others" People here have been coming up with ideas for a while, and something there may appeal to you. (Also feel free to suggest ideas we've overlooked.)

Not long ago I bumped into information about an aspie website with a really active forum. Can't remember where it was, but it sounded like they were having a great time. Almost made me wish I were one. If you haven't yet checked it out, have a look. It might be worth participating in, too. Thanks for taking the plunge to party with us. Wink

Congratulations on getting back in shape. You obviously have a lot of self-discipline. You're also quite a writer. "The rancid sandwich of PMO." Smile

Looking forward to hearing more of your journey.